Previously on the Best and Worst of WWF Raw Is War: Val Venis broke up with his hot Japanese girlfriend because a guy who once got his penis chopped off for abusing his wife said the threat of getting your penis chopped off is too much stress. Plus, Jeff Jarrett doesn’t want you to piss him off, Road Warrior Hawk is punk in drublic, and the “D-X split” was just a joke about their butt cracks.
Previously on Sunday Night Heat: Tiger Ali Singh paid a guy $500 to eat a worm, the dread vampire Gangrel debuted, and Shane McMahon’s “friend” showed off her tongue ring.
If you haven’t seen this episode, you can watch it on WWE Network here. Check out all the episodes you may have missed at the Best and Worst of WWF Raw Is War and Best and Worst of WWF Monday Night Raw tag pages. Follow along with the competition here.
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And now, the Best and Worst of WWF Raw is War for August 17, 1998.
Worst: Slick Willie Style All In It
You might be wondering why there was a picture of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky at the top of this column with RAW IS WAR TONIGHT under them. Well, the World Wrestling Federation apparently had a Bill Clinton impersonator named Tim Watters on retainer for most of the ’90s, having him appear at WrestleMania as the President with absolutely no irony, and pop up again to make a bunch of sex jokes with Sunny at Survivor Series ’95.
This is the equally dumb shit WWF was doing while WCW was having Hulk Hogan do monster truck battles on arena rooftops before being molested by randomly occurring anti-Hulkamania mummies, by the way.
Raw was going up against President Clinton’s national address regarding his testimony before Kenneth Starr’s grand jury about whether he Did or Did Not have sexual relations with that woman, so Raw decided to “scoop” the nation by having fake Clinton address them first. “Mr. President” doesn’t actually appear on Raw here, but instead calls into the show three separate times to hit a Sybian-riding Jerry Lawler with great jokes like, “I love it Raw, even Monica knows that!”
“Let me just say this to the American people. Despite all the scandals and all the fooling around, my job is getting done. The economy is up, inflation is down, and there are more jobs. You see people, the more I perform at play, the better I perform at work. I mean, the more I take ol’ Mr. One-Eye to the optometrist, the better I can see America’s future. Folks, the more I’m getting it on, the more I’m getting on. Thank you, and God bless America. What a great country.”
He calls in a third time during the main event with some post-address comments, including, “I never had improper relations with that woman. It was just good sex, c’mon!” Jim Ross is hilarious here, doing his best to get the show as far away from the Presidential call-in as possible while Lawler hops around like Daffy Duck in the background hooting, “WHAT ABOUT BLOWJOBS, WHAT ABOUT BLOWJOBS.”
The good news is that WWE has grown up a lot in the past 20 years. Instead of, say, having a Presidential impersonator call into the show to make sub-Jay Leno monologue jokes, they have an impersonator wrestle, bring in the actual guy to shave Vince McMahon’s head, and then put him in their Hall of Fame.
Worst: Speaking Of Having Sexual Relations With That Woman
The aforementioned main event is a 4-on-1 gauntlet match between Val Venis and Kaientai, as a followup to the whole “I was gonna choppy choppy your pee-pee but had no idea you were friends with the world’s culturally infamous authority of having pee-pees choppy-choppied” thing. Val steamrolls through MEN’s Teioh, Sho Funaki, and Dick Togo, but ultimately loses to TAKA Michinoku’s Michinoku Driver (II). After the match, Mrs. Yamaguchi-san confidently strikes into the ring and blasts Val with a strong style palm strike. It’s the kind of lazy noodle strike you throw when you’ve clearly never been in a fight or had to throw a punch before.
In response, Val … [checks notes] [no, that can’t be right, checks notes again] grabs a pink, penis-shaped Super Soaker filled with a VISCOUS SUBSTANCE and, well, gun-cums all over her.
Lawler legitimately believes this to be the funniest thing that’s ever happened in human history, and he can barely get out the words he’s so delighted. “I hope the President is still watching! Look at this … what is in that? Oh, you know what that is, JR? DNA! Ha ha! Oh, it’s all over her! It’s all over her dress!”
Mrs. Yamaguchi, who walks away with squirt gun jizz dripping off her chin, only makes two more appearances — one on Sunday Night Heat, and another on next week’s Raw — before she’s gone forever. Open this in a new tab and keep it on hand for next week.
Worst: Keep Raw Sexy
We keep the Cinemax-quality wrestling writing going with an appearance from Tiger Ali Singh, who offers to pay $500 to any terrible American willing to “lick the unwashed feet” of his manservant, who he’s had running wind-sprints all day. The lucky fan absolutely GOES TO TOWN on Babu’s “toe jam,” rightfully guessing that nobody can work out hard enough in one day to make chunks of blueberry cobbler magically appear between their toes, and that since this is part of a wrestling show he’s probably licking stunt jam and has no reason to be grossed out.
You know, I feel like the hook of the Million Dollar Man is that he would present easy-to-win challenges like “bounce a basketball 15 times without stopping” to make you think you’re going to succeed, only to pull the rug out from under you at the last second. It was a class warfare thing where the rich guy KNEW he wasn’t going to give you money, but wanted to watch you dance for it anyway. Tiger Ali Singh’s just running a bootleg Fear Factor out here and giving away free money. Crowds should’ve cheered him every time he showed up, because he never actually seemed to wrestle, and his gimmick basically “stupid ATM.”
Worst: In The Arms Of The Angle
Up next we have the arm wrestling competition between Sable and Jacqueline, which is the kind of dumb bit you’d never see on Raw today.
Like every pro wrestling arm wrestling segment since the dawn of time, it starts with the heel stalling and calling time out a bunch and having problems with how the ARM WRESTLING SEGMENT is going to work, before either losing outright and attacking their opponent, or attacking them just before they lose. Here, Jackie (who should defeat Sable in a shoot arm wrestling match 100 out of 100 times) avoids losing by pulling away from the grip at the last second and knocking the table over onto Sable. Sable sells it like she’s Spider-Man trapped under heavy machinery and not like a person with normal human strength mildly inconvenienced by a novelty card table.
The Oddities arrive just in time to keep Sable from being manslaughtered by what I assume is one of Earl Hebner’s bowling trophies. So far we’ve had a bikini contest and an arm wrestling match between these two. I can’t wait to see them pay it off with a Redneck Triathlon at SummerSlam.
Best: Hearse Rent-a-Car
Stone Cold Steve Austin is officially done with this “cahoots” bullshit and expresses his emotions by renting a hearse, driving it to the wrestling arena, backing it into the area where all the fans are, and announcing that he’s going to stuff the mortuary-themed wrestler he hates into the back of it before the night’s over. He calls out Mr. McMahon — who will be appearing on AOL later if anyone’s interested — and declares that if Vince doesn’t get out of his way, he’ll get compu-served and driven away in the death car himself.
When Austin finally manages to call out the Undertaker, he’s shocked to find out that it’s not the Undertaker at all … it’s (gotta be) Kane DRESSED as the Undertaker, in a fun subversion of the past few weeks of Dead Man subterfuge.
They fight their way back to the hearse, and Austin makes good on his promise to at least stuff Kane dressed as the Undertaker into the back. What’s especially hilarious here is that when Undertaker disguises himself as Kane, he makes sure he wears the Kane suit with long sleeves to hide his tattoos. Kane doesn’t have any of those. But when Kane is disguised as Undertaker, Kane suddenly has all the appropriate tattoos and doesn’t need sleeves at all. Because GUESS WHAT, FOLKS, it’s actually The Undertaker disguised as Kane disguised as the Undertaker.
This all comes to light when Austin tries to drive the hearse away with Kane in the back, but **gasp** Undertaker is driving! How can that be?? He would’ve had to use some Godless magical powers to, uh, take off a mask and climb into the front seat.
[‘Highway to Hell’ intensifies]
Worst: Maybe The Worst Triple Threat Match Ever
The World’s Most Dangerous human-shaped mound of testosterone Ken Shamrock is still out for blood after the heinous miscarriage of justice in Stu Hart’s basement. This builds to a Shamrock vs. Owen Hart vs. Dan Severn triple threat match on Raw, and it might be the most “third wheel” triple threat match you’ve ever seen.
It makes sense from a story perspective, but man is it lame. Shamrock and Hart do 100% of the wrestling while Severn just kinda stands in the corner, doing nothing. That’s the match. When Shamrock’s about to win by pinfall, Severn yanks him by the foot. When Shamrock’s about to win by submission, Severn grabs him in a choke. The match ends with Severn choking out Shamrock while Owen just kinda stomps Shamrock in the stomach, and JR’s like, “well, I guess Severn technically won (?)” They could’ve done Shamrock vs. Hart one-on-one with Severn on the floor, had him jump in and cause a disqualification at the end, and accomplished the same thing without bait-and-switching us with an advertised triple threat match.
Anyway, Steve Blackman tries to make the save and gets choked out as well, and as they’re leaving, Severn high-fives Owen, officially turning heel. Severn’s going to train Owen Hart for the upcoming LION’S DEN match with Shamrock at SummerSlam, and Shamrock and Blackman are left to wander around backstage aimlessly breaking shit in response. Blackman dispassionately “flipping out” is so funny, especially in mostly empty backstage rooms.
Note: The best part of this GIF is that split second where you see Shamrock look at the water fountain on the wall, consider breaking it, and then stop when he realizes he’d probably get in trouble for destroying arena property.
Also On This Episode
Sexiest Man Not Alive 1998 Gangrel makes his Raw debut, hot off a Sunday Night Heat victory over top competitor Scott Taylor. Here, he gets a win over Taylor’s partner, Brian Christopher, proving that monster powers make you better than at least 2/3 of a Jason Mendoza-style idiot dance crew.
Edge watches this match from the cheap seats for mysterious reasons. Mysterious vampire reasons. He’s dead is what I’m getting at. Isn’t it funny that “The Rated-R Superstars” having live sex celebrations on Raw was a corpse reanimated by Vampiric magic? Wrestling’s great.
The Nation of Domination has a street fight with Determined Excellence and come out on top when their Jeff Jarrett and Southern Justice assist trophy allows them to isolate Triple H and beat him up with a ladder. Oddly they don’t actually pin Triple H here, they just leave the ring, confident in a job well done. I guess “making a statement” and wink-wink nudge-nudging about what kind of match Triple H and The Rock are about to have is more important than finishing a wrestling match.
Finally, here’s Bart Gunn ruining his week-old “Lefty” gimmick by knocking out The Godfather with a right hand in the Brawl for All semi-finals. You can’t blame him for throwing bombs, though, as The Godfather opened the match by revealing he’s preemptive rescinded his standing “hoes for forfeit” offer because Gunn had previously attacked him. Dick move, Beloved Pimp.
Bradshaw also defeats The Droz via wind-sucking technicality, setting up Bradsaw vs. Righty (?) for the finals. Fun spoiler alert: the finals is the shortest match in the entire tournament, and it seemed like the tournament itself was just begging to be over.
It’s the final Raw on the HIGHWAY TOWARDS HELL as Kane and Mankind have a Hell in a Cell match in the middle of the episode, the Brawl for All tournament comes to a mercifully abrupt end, and Mark Henry begins his long career of sexually harassing Chyna. All this, plus we say goodbye to Mrs. Yamaguchi-san, next week.